Hachette Children’s Group has acquired the first children's book from Noel Fitzpatrick, star of Channel 4's "The Supervet".
Kate Agar, editorial director, acquired world rights from Amanda Harris, m.d. of YMU Books. Middle-grade title Vetman and his Bionic Animal Clan will be published in hardback on 28th October 2021 by the Hodder Children's Books imprint. A paperback will follow in autumn 2022.
Vetman is Fitzpatrick's first children's book and is inspired by a superhero he first imagined as a child, with hints of the "amazing life-enhancing" stories from his television show, the publisher said. It will follow characters Vetman, Imogen, Findlay and a whole cast of bionic animals as they save animal companions everywhere from the evil plans of Vetman’s old foe, The-Man-With-No-Name.
Fitzpatrick commented: "When I was a child, I dreamt up Vetman as a hero that would save all of the broken, discarded and disregarded animals of the world and would make them well again using magical inventions made out of all of the other material things people throw away. Through all of my life, he has been my guiding light and for me it was very important that he came into the world right now – to remind us of our moral responsibility to look after animals, the one planet we share with them, and the one unconditional love regardless of species, colour or where we come from that truly unites us. Sharing this story of love, hope, faith, and redemption against the odds is what I have been building toward all of my career – as a veterinary specialist, as a person and as a creative.
"My hope is that Vetman and his Bionic Animal Clan can inspire children to reach for the stars in their own lives and to realise the meaningful impact they can have on the world, motivated by love and kindness towards both animal and man."
Fitzpatrick's Orion-published memoirs, 2020's Being the Supervet and 2018's Becoming the Supervet, have sold just over 419,000 copies for £3.8m through Nielsen's Total Consumer Market in the UK. Becoming the Supervet was the second bestselling memoir of 2018, second only to Michelle Obama's Becoming (Penguin).
Agar said: "When Noel came to us with the idea for Vetman, his passion for storytelling was incredible to see. Not only has he created a brilliant middle-grade adventure, we know that he’s going to inspire a new generation of animal-lovers to do everything they can to take care of the animals in their lives and animals in the world generally through his writing."